Adachi-Mejia, Anna M., Michael L. Beach, Madeline A. Dalton, Meghan R. Longacre & Linda Titus-Ernstoff. “Longitudinal Study of Viewing Smoking in Movies and Initiation of Smoking by Children.” Pediatrics 121.1 (2008): 15-21. EBSCO MegaFILE. University of Pennsylvania Library, Philadelphia. 8 April 2008. <http://search.ebscohost.com>
This is a longitudinal research study, the purpose of which was to see if children’s exposure to smoking in films could influence smoking initiation in these children. The fact that the study is a longitudinal study means that it is a study that takes place over time; in this case the reason for the study taking place over an extended period was to see if over time, children’s exposure to smoking in films influenced their smoking initiation. The study demonstrated that children’s exposure to movie smoking significantly predicted smoking initiation. It showed that there was not only an association between movie smoking exposure and increased risk of smoking initiation, but also that early childhood movie smoking exposure was just as influential as exposure that occurs nearer to the time of initiation. This study is useful in looking at how Cinderella may influence children’s beliefs and notions about romance and love. Though smoking and love are certainly not the same things, both are social behaviors. In this study, children were exposed to a particular social behavior through film, which later had an influence on their real-life behaviors. This research thus helps to show that there may be a great influence between what films present to children, and what, in turn, children learn about the social world. In the study, children’s movie smoking exposure had a strong influence on initiation; likewise, then, it is possible that children who view Cinderella will be greatly influenced by its messages about love and romance. In addition, since early childhood movie smoking exposure was just as important as exposure that happened closer to initiation, then it is possible that what children learn about love, romance, and relationships through Cinderella may stay with them, even as other sources of influence begin to shape their views about the subject matter. In other words, what children learn about love and romance through early childhood viewing of films such as Cinderella may be just as important in influencing their thoughts and behaviors about love than what they learn about love as they get older and are exposed to more sources of information on these themes and issues.